Hindhead Together are very keen to enable local people to view and use the tunnel on a community day before the tunnel in formally opened. This is likely to be in mid May 2011.
However there will be tight constraints on what can be done when, largely because the contractors are unwilling for the north entrance to be used as a base and the southern end of the tunnel roadworks is already closely interlinked with the busy A3 road network, making it impossible to park or start events from very close to the tunnel.
Discussions with Caroline White of Hindhead Together have established.
- They want there to be an event for cyclists
- Cyclists' use of the tunnel/unopened road sections will have to be within a defined timeframe (eg 11am to noon)
- The ride will be through the tunnel and back to the south end
- entry to be restricted to experienced cyclists over the age of 16
- for security reasons there will need to be named entries, stewards and marshalling.
- Access to the new road network will have to be from the south end • eg the linked roundabouts at the Hazel Grove junction or the High Pitfold underpass.
- The start of the ride will need to be away from the A3 as there is nowhere to park, assemble in the busy southern end.
- Participation should be wider than Waverley • including for example cyclists from Liphook
These parameters are more limited than we had hoped. The exclusion of juniors and family riders is a disappointment. However families from the locality will be able to walk through the tunnel later in the same day. (Participation is restricted to families in the wider Hindhead area.)
There are however possibilities for both on and off road rides starting from say, Haslemere and Liphook that could use the smaller lanes and access the A3 at High Pitfold or Hazel Grove to reach the new A3 at around 11 to 11.15 and then using the new tunnel, aiming to exit at around 11.50.
At the next Forum meeting we need to consider:
- Possible routes to and from the tunnel
- Who will do what in terms of organisation
- Number of participants that could safely be accommodated
- Marshalling arrangements